The new digital and social media to discover Arabia and the Middle East. Offbeat. Innovative.

Saudi Arabia: a 100% sustainable initiative and a world record

“Since I was a child, I used to love drawing maps. I don’t know why but it feels like I’m flying. Seeing a huge map was like a dream,” declared Khulood Al-Fadli, an elementary school principal in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She made her dream come true by designing the largest mosaic made of plastic bottle caps, thanks to which she won a world record: let’s take a look back at this 100% creative and sustainable enterprise !

Driven by many of her interests, the young woman decided to create a mosaic representing a map of the world, and thus proved that one can make art from recycled materials.

Quickly, the initiative spread through Saudi Arabia, and attracted more volunteers, more donations and more plastic bottle caps, from Mecca, Medina or even Taif.

By her side, a motivated and diverse team: her husband, friends, family, volunteers and even her students helped her achieve the project in 40 days. Determined to beat the previous world record held by Caroline Chaptini and her 196.94 square meter crescent mosaic in Miziara Lebanon, Khulood Al-Fadli decided to design a 250 square meter artwork, made of 350,000 caps !

In addition to the many requirements imposed by the Guinness World Records, the main difficulty according to the principal, was the weather conditions, especially the wind which blew away the beginning of her work several times, delaying the project for several days.

But breaking a record was not Khulood Al-Fadli’s first goal : inspired by her students’ reactions towards environmental issues and the challenges of recycling, she decided to participate at her own level, combining a useful action (collect of used plastic) and a human project.

The project also highlighted three major events: World Environment Day, World Oceans Day and United Nations Public Service Day, which raises awareness about community volunteering.

Thrilled by the beautiful map, the students became more aware of the importance of respecting the planet and the environment and promised to collect plastic in the future. This is an example for everyone, and a reminder that every gesture counts!